State colleges to keep campuses open

Bentley Hall, on the Johnson campus of Northern Vermont University

Monday, Feb. 22 the Vermont State College System Board of Trustees voted keep its campuses open while saving money by merging college organization structure.

The decision is a response to a pressing need to reduce spending and strong public pressure to keep the campuses of all five colleges open. As reported Feb. 15 in Vermont Daily: State college leadership informed the House Education Committee this week that their first pass at a 2022 budget showed them up to $45M in the hole. They are estimating a $235M structural deficit over the next five years and an additional $20M because of Covid impacts. They are hoping the Legislature will approve $51M in funding for this coming year, which is $17.4M more than the Governor’s recommended budget.

The proposal will unify the three residential colleges, Castleton University, Northern Vermont University (formerly Lyndon State College and Johnson State College), and Vermont Technical College, under a common accreditation in Academic Year 2023-2024. The Community College of Vermont will remain a separate institution.

In the proposed new structure, the President of each institution would report to the Chancellor and the
Board of Trustees would oversee the Chancellor, the Presidents, and the two institutions.

“I want to be clear that the Board is committed to maintaining our current campus locations,” Board Chair Lynn Dickinson said. “In future years, the configuration of the campuses might look a little different as we work to update our physical footprint to help bring system costs down, but we are committed to doing so in a way that keeps our current campus locations open.”

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  1. Doing what they’ve always done, kicking the can down the road instead of making hard but needed paradigm shift.

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